Bookmark and Share

Industrial Newsbriefs

November 2010

Welcome to this edition of Industrial Newsbriefs, produced by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Please forward this issue to those of your colleagues interested in industrial energy efficiency. View archive 

While every URL in Industrial Newsbriefs is checked for accuracy prior to distribution, URLs may change and servers may temporarily fail to connect to working URLs.


Quick Plant Energy Profiler (Quick PEP)

The Quick Energy Profiler, or Quick PEP, is a free online software tool to help U.S. industrial plant managers improve energy management at industrial facilities. The tool helps users establish a baseline for how energy is being used at their plant, identify best opportunities to save energy and money, and calculate emissions. Quick PEP is designed so that the user can complete a plant profile in about an hour. The results will enable you to focus on improving the performance of major energy-consuming systems in your plant.


Waste-to-power plant gearing up in Portland

A new biogas production facility slated to be built in Portland, Oregon will turn food processing, restaurant, and grocery store food waste into methane based biogas. The gas will then be used to generate 4 to 5 megawatts of grid power. If approved, the plant is expected to be operational in 2012. To learn more, read “Columbia Biogas Plans Portland Waste-to-Power Plant,” published October 21 in Sustainable Business Oregon.


Strategies for lowering data center energy costs

Taming the Energy Hogs,” by Dan Rafter, discusses the strategies used by manufacturers, consultants, and data center operators to reduce the energy footprint of large data centers. This article was published in the September/October issue of Distributed Energy.

A green approach to data centers

"Green Data Centers Are on the Rise," published in the September 2010 issue of Green Building News, provides profiles of data centers which feature innovative energy-saving solutions. The article's focus is IBM's LEED-Gold data center in North Carolina, a facility with a rainwater collection system and a reflective roof. Additionally, the article briefly describes data centers in Kymenlaakso, Finland (Google), and in Lockport, New York (Yahoo).


Bright future predicted for fuel cell technology

In “More Than Just a Backup,” Paul Hull outlines the positive attributes of fuel cells as an invaluable component of an onsite industrial power system. The article provides an optimistic case for the adoption of this technology, and forecasts that costs will lower in the next decade, making adoption more affordable. Case studies of fuel cell use in industry are provided. This article was published in the September/October issue of Distributed Energy.


Alliance to Save Energy presents strong case for industrial energy efficiency

On October 19th, the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) presented a briefing on Capitol Hill which explored the positive impacts of increased energy efficiency in the U.S. industrial sector. The panelists stressed that the benefits are not limited to energy savings, but include economic, social, and environmental outcomes alike. A detailed description and photos from the briefing are available on the ASE website.


Solar energy boom forecasted: growth could reach 42% per year

Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a leader in alternative energy research and analysis, predicts that with enough initial investment, the market for solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies will experience a surge over the next decade, raising the percentage of power supplied by solar energy sources to 4.3%. To learn more, read “US Solar Poised for $100bn Growth Surge.” This article was published in Business Wire.


DOE, BOEMRE and NOAA announce funds in support of ocean renewable energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced eight joint research awards totaling nearly $5 million to support the responsible siting and permitting of offshore wind energy facilities and ocean energy generated from waves, tides, currents, and thermal gradients. To learn more and read about the selected projects, see the press release.

Fuel Cell Technologies Early Market Opportunities

The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking feedback from relevant industry stakeholders to assist in the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in three distinct topic areas involving project management, hydrogen energy storage, and commercial deployment. Responses are due by 12/18/2010.


E3 Initiative promotes efficient, sustainable, and competitive manufacturing

The U.S. Departments of Energy and Commerce have joined forces with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor in support of the Economy, Energy and Environment Initiative (also known as the E3 Initiative). This initiative is designed to promote public/private partnerships which help medium and small enterprises to increase efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and enhance economic competitiveness. To learn more, read the news release.

Draft working paper on greenhouse gas emissions and SEPA released

The Washington State Department of Ecology released a draft working paper in mid-October regarding the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process in relation to greenhouse gases and climate change. The paper is an important step toward the development of reporting procedures and controls for greenhouse gas emissions in Washington State. Comments will be accepted until November 17th.

Fuel efficiency standards for trucks and buses proposed

On October 25, the The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed new national standards for fuel efficiency for heavy duty vehicles, including large trucks, buses, and industrial vehicles. The standards are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower fuel costs for businesses, and reduce reliance on foreign oil. A 60-day comment period will commence once the draft standards are published in the Federal Register. To learn more and link to the proposed standards, see the press release.


Comprehensive report on offshore wind now available from NREL

"Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power in the United States: Assessment of Opportunities and Barriers" is a report recently released by U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The report provides an assessment and analysis of offshore wind resources, examines the economic potential of offshore wind, and outlines the benefits, rewards, and technological challenges of an offshore wind industry in the U.S.

USDA report examines the economic impact of biofuel standards

An effect of Increased Biofuels on the U.S. Economy in 2022 is a research report released in October by the USDA Economic Research Service. This report examines the effect of the Renewable Fuel Standard on the economy, taking into account the variables of oil prices, biofuel production costs, and tax credits.

ACEEE fact sheet on Combined Heat and Power now available

Low Technical Assistance for Deploying Combined Heat and Power Projects is a guidance document released on October 15 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This document provides links to local guidance, information, sources of financial assistance, definitions, and other information to assist those interested in investigating, assessing, or installing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.


Future Energy Conference
November 9-10, 2010, Seattle, WA
The Future Energy Conference offers a forum to connect those developing strategies for energy security and economic development with the businesses making it happen. Subject matter includes energy policy for projects and jobs; renewable electricity and fuels; and energy efficiency in buildings and industry.

Compressed Air Systems Energy Management: Collaborative Cohort Training
November 18-19, 2010, Kelso, WA
By participating in this cohort, attendees will learn to calculate the energy cost of compressed air, identify inappropriate uses of compressed air, establish a baseline for tracking improvements, find and fix system leaks, and identify cost saving opportunities.

Field Measurements for Industrial Pump Systems
November 18-19, 2010, Pocatello, ID
This course focuses on the measurements that are required for any pumping system performance assessment – flow rate, pressure, and electrical data. Common measurement methods and devices are discussed. A host of application issues associated with test devices are emphasized.

WEBINAR: Pumping System Assessment Tool Training
November 18, 2010
ITP offers an introductory, convenient 2-hour Webcast on the use of the PSAT. This session introduces the tool and presents the basics—and the benefits—of using it to target opportunities for energy savings in your plant.

WEBINAR: Fundamentals of Compressed Air (Level 1): Four-Part Series
November 23-December 21, 2010
This Web-based version of the popular Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems training uses an interactive format that enables the instructor to diagram examples, give pop quizzes, and answer students’ questions in real time. The curriculum will be organized into four 2-hour sessions.

Compressed Air Challenge – Level 1
December 1, 2010, Vancouver, WA
Compressed Air Challenge is a series of seminars that applies proven techniques to achieve cost-effective solutions. Optimizing your compressed air systems can lead to higher productivity, energy savings, increased product quality, and greater efficiency. This training offers attendees the opportunity to use their own system data in seminar exercises, as well as mastery of compressed air system components and techniques.

Efficiency Connections Northwest
December 1-2, 2010, Seattle, WA
Efficiency Connections Northwest will advance collaboration among utility conservation managers and program staff, energy efficiency professionals and program implementers. More than just another conference, Efficiency Connections Northwest provides opportunities for attendees to learn from each other, accelerating innovation and advancing the performance of energy efficiency programs throughout the Northwest. This event was developed by and for Northwest utility professionals at both public and private investor-owned utilities.

Process Heating Assessment Training (PHAST)
December 02, 2010, 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Moses Lake, WA
This workshop includes an introduction to process heating and process heating equipment such as furnaces, ovens, dryers, heaters, kilns, etc., used by the industry. It includes discussion of combustion and other heating methods, heat transfer in furnaces, heat containment, waste heat recovery, commonly used process heating controls, and emission reduction related to process heating. Students will also learn how to use the Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST).

Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show
January 10-12, 2011, Seattle, WA
The Pacific West BIOMASS Conference & Trade Show will connect the area’s current and future producers of biomass-derived electricity, industrial heat and power, and advanced biofuels with waste generators, aggregators, growers, municipal leaders, utility executives, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, investors, and policy makers. Tracks include: Electricity Generation, Industrial Process Heat & Power, Biorefining, and Biomass Project Development & Finance.

Process Safety Management Audits for Compliance and Continuous Safety Improvement
January 25-27, 2011, Madison, Wisconsin
Learn how to conduct high-performance, effective process safety management systems audits. The course will enable you to understand a range of approaches for conducting PSM compliance audits; assess and allocate required resources to conduct the audits; use proven strategies and techniques for executing effective PSM audits; turn your audit results into PSM program improvements; and continuously improve the reliability and deliverability of “cold” as a result of conducting a compliance audit.

Achieving Energy Cost Savings for Ammonia Refrigeration Systems
February 9-11, 2011, Madison, Wisconsin
In this course, you will enhance your ability to deliver energy savings back on the job by understanding factors that influence system energy efficiency and energy costs, identifying methods for improving system energy efficiency, developing and action plan, and validating your efficiency improvements.


For a listing of other upcoming industrial energy efficiency trainings, visit the following websites:

Energy Events Calendar

Northwest Regional Training Calendar

U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Best Practices Training Calendar

Input Requested: Is there something else you would like to see in Industrial Newsbriefs?

If you have thoughts or ideas for what you would like to see in this publication, please email suggestions to We strive to keep this publication as useful and relevant as possible to you, our readers.

Past issues available here